Inbox: Charity super sizes facility for families

Prime Minister John Key opened new $7 million family accommodation facility last month that extends the capabilities of Ronald McDonald House in Auckland.
Grafton Mews has 18 rooms including two transplant units, customised disabled rooms, standard rooms, laundries, living areas and playground. In total the RMH Auckland Trust now has 79 rooms available to referred families, the largest room capacity in Australasia, with further 20 rooms planned.
The RMH Auckland Trust provides accommodation and support for families from anywhere in New Zealand, whose children have to be in Auckland for treatment at Starship Children’s Hospital.
“What the facility provides goes way beyond just accommodation,” says Wayne Howett, CEO, RMH Auckland Trust.
“The House provides comfort and safe environment for families during what can be highly stressful time. It enables them to be together and for families to draw strength from others who are on similar journey.”
In 2010 the Trust provided over 23,000 room nights to families. In 2011 this is expected to increase to over 24,000 and the new Grafton Mews will assist in meeting this demand.
It costs on average $120 per night to provide accommodation and some meals, however there is no charge for referred families to stay at any of the three Auckland facilities.

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